As we posted a while back: “Marketers are often creative and innovative in developing new products. Sometimes, these ideas play a societally-important role. Thus, we can do well by doing good.One good example is State Farm with its community involvement tag line, “Good neighbors always lend a helping hand.” So today we dig further into purpose-driven brands’ marketing lessons. And they shed light on some best practices.


Purpose-Driven Brands’ Marketing Lessons

In general, “doing good” is known as cause-based marketing, social marketing, or purpose-driven marketing. “Doing good” represents any efforts to give back to the community. And many companies deserve praise for their actions in this regard. Let’s look at two of them.

According to Michael Brenner for Marketing Insider Group:

“Purpose-driven brands know the best way to make money is to not prioritize profits. Why? Because the only way succeed is to have a purpose.  Brand purpose as a pillar stands tall, unmovable, as the world turns. When you use this as the unifying force of marketing, you tap into a source of inspiration to energize your campaigns. And do that instead of chasing the carrot. Because that happens when business decisions and bottom line needs are what motivate your marketing decisions.”

Starbucks is a purpose-driven star. As Brenner notes:

“From 1982 to 2015, Starbucks opened 22.5K stores worldwide under the leadership of Howard Shultz. He stepped down as CEO at the end of 2016. And he was known for sparking the brand’s core visions and keeping those flames alive for decades. ‘What is the role and responsibility of a public company … and how can we catalyze hope in a time when we need more optimism, compassion, and leadership?'”

Here’s one Starbucks’ initiative.

Purpose-Driven Brands' Marketing Lessons from Starbucks
Although it’s a beer maker, Heineken is also a purpose-driven star. Brenner says that:

“Heineken’s Moderate Drinkers Wanted marketing campaign is helping transform how society views social drinking. There are health effects of binge drinking, dangers of driving under the influence, and the destruction of alcohol addiction. Society has real problems to tackle. Yep, you guessed it: we need a hero. Heineken has stepped up pressure on consumers — and the industry. How? By promoting responsible drinking through moderation.”

This Heineken video shows its approach.


31 Replies to “Purpose-Driven Brands’ Marketing Lessons”

  1. Cause based marketing is an excellent example of a win win situation. The company gains profits, favorable public image, and the like. The community actually gets something in return as well. This also humanizes larger corporations; people tend to vaguely categorize as “out to get them.”

  2. This concept of social marketing or purpose-driven marketing, represented by any efforts to give back to the community, reminds me greatly of the vastly successful company TOMS. With their one-for-one initiative, they are a prime example of social marketing. For every pair of shoes they sell, they match it by donating a pair of shoes to a child in need. This successful and altruistic business model has resulted in them expanding to providing other services such as maternal care and eye care to those in need.

    1. I fully agree with Michael Brenner’s view. The success of a brand is not the first of its own interests, but more importantly the value created for society. When we do a meaningful thing, we should enjoy the process, and know our ultimate purpose, through our own efforts to lead others, contribute an own strength to the society.

  3. I’m glad you chose this topic and mentioned Heineken at the end because its something I’ve been noticing more and more throughout beer and alcohol commercials. It seems like they have moved less from actually promoting their alcohol and making sure society is aware that with drinking comes along the responsibility of drinking. It’s much more than just putting a bottle to your lips. The many factors involved in this are shown through a variety of ads from each company nowadays.

  4. I think Purpose-driven marketing is a great way to marketing a company’s brand because it benefits both company itself and our society. As the article mentioned, Starbucks company brings “optimism, compassion, and leadership” to society by offering volunteer jobs or community service opportunities to people. Company “Doing good” for society would increase brand awareness and also their employees and consumers would feel they are also doing good things for the society. Starbucks could sparking their brand well-known all around the world.

  5. This post reminds me of Patagonia and their brand purpose. Their “Protect Public Lands” campaign emphasized that “The President Stole Your Land” which highlights President Trump’s reduction of two national monuments. They also provided a link to sign a petition in support of restoring the land lost. This is evidence of a Purpose-Driven brand because they introduce a link between their products and preserving national parks.

  6. Starbucks purpose driven marketing is one that I feel works extraordinarily well. People know that Starbucks gives back to the community and its customers. I have a gold card at Starbucks and so I receive notifications whenever they are having a new promotion. Prior to Thanksgiving they had a great purpose-driven campaign where they were offering buy-one-get-one latte’s during a certain time period to emphasize the idea of giving. These types of community oriented strategies help to keep Starbucks customers coming back.

  7. When we connect the social responsibility with the marketing and advertisement, it will be more value to the company. For companies, responsibilities to the society is one of the important parts and if they put it in the advertisement, it will bring lots of revenues.

  8. I read the book “How To Win Friends And Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie, and in it, under a heading of “Six Ways To Make People Like You”, he suggests, “Become genuinely interested in other people.” In the section, he laments how many companies who want to do business with other companies send out letters to the other companies in which they only talk about themselves and their own problems. Carnegie mentions that one of the best things a company can do when seeking out new business opportunities is to understand the other company, and to write a letter which reflects on that company’s problems instead of their own problems.

    After reading this article about Purpose Driven Brands, I can see why they are so successful, and one of the reasons is because they are thinking not only about themselves, but in the good that can create in the community. That is a surefire way of winning friends and influencing people.

  9. Purpose-based marketing is by far one of the more successful techniques in the world of business because it makes consumers feel as though their purchase means more than losing dollars from their bank accounts. It makes them feel as though their hard-earned dollar will go towards a greater cause than the item that they might have just purchased

  10. Purpose-Driven marketing strategy is good for improving the value of company in a long-term. Company not only has a successful way to advertise its products, but also give benefits back to society which could motivate the development of society.

  11. It’s good to see companies use purpose-based marketing. It helps both society and a company seem like it cares about more than just profits. In return, consumers will feel better about supporting that company and want to help promote that company’s ideals by purchasing their goods or services.

  12. Purpose-based marketing is a great way for a business/brand to bond with a target audience based on their shared needs and interests – including interest in supporting a worthy cause. As i watched the commercial for Heineken, I noticed one point that the commercial wants to bring to us, the consumers. That someone who drinks needs to know their limits and that their limit may be after only one heineken and thats okay. This may be why the man walks out of the bar. I think it is very important that when drinking you need to have self control and that it only takes one mistake to ruin everything.

  13. Purpose Driven brands are focused on serving the people rather than making profits. If a brand has a purpose it attracts more consumers. Starbucks and Heineken have done a great job of doing so. They aren’t primarily focused on making money. They want to serve the people the best they can. Also another good purpose brand is Toms. Every pair of shoes sold they give a pair to people in need. It gives a consumer a good feeling when they are consuming their product. I like how Heineken promoted the idea of moderate drinkers. There commerical may limit the amount of product sold but no one likes a drunk. Large and small firms are obligated to give back to the community and not use the community for pure profit.

  14. In my microeconomics class, I learned that some firms are successful using social enforcement mechanisms. Within my textbook, it explains that because of shame, guilt, and the risk of being publicly penalized for doing the wrong thing makes us want to do the right thing. Firms that recognize that their product can help people achieve in doing the right thing are profitable and successful. The Heineken commercial, as well as other alcohol companies, have been emphasizing more that driving while under the influence (even if someone drank in moderation) is a terrible thing to do. With the right thing to do in mind, firms are helping themselves make a profit and helping consumers make the world a better, safer place.

  15. This concept of social marketing or purpose-driven marketing I believe is a good thing for society and the brand. It is a good way for the brand to bond with its consumers. In the case study we did for our products and innovations class, we wrote about the top 10 Brands and how social responsibility was a factor in building a strong brand. I believe this kind of marketing enforces that thinking.

  16. In my IB class, we just did a group project about bringing Shake Shack to China which made me look at purpose-driven businesses in a new light. One of Shake Shack’s differentiators is the fact that they use only fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. When we looked at expanding the business internationally though, we had to find areas that would enable us to maintain a supply of those ingredients. It seems like such a minor thing, but there are some countries where that would have actually been very difficult if not impossible. I think the marketing potential/consumer response is a great incentive for businesses to find a purpose, but there can actually be a lot of extra costs and tactics needed to maintain it. As a consumer and a businessperson I really commend these brands for making the choices they have.

  17. A brand needs a purpose. Consumers often make brands part of their lifestyles. As such, they must have a purpose or goal that supports their end users.

  18. Starbucks company really do a good job in purpose-driven marketing since it takes good social responsibility in society. Jack Ma show his appreciation to Starbucks by saying that “As a company who only sells coffee, Starbucks does a good job by opening so many stores in the world.” Undoubtedly, Starbuck’s success not only contributes to its products but also adaptive strategy used well in cooperating with its target goal.

  19. The Heineken commercial is a great way to promote a purpose driven ad. This concept is eye catching and intriguing. It promotes it’s company yet promotes positive behavior whilst under the influence of its product due to many people taking advantage of it.

    1. Any firm’s primary goal is to create a positive public image (and create revenue, of course), so by implementing purpose-driven advertisements, this is a great way for firms to not only enhance their public image, but also to reward their loyal consumers.

  20. With the Heineken thing it makes sense that people respond better to the truth. The trend when it comes to advertising is that real is in and fake is still in but isn’t going to be here for a while. Starbucks being good people isn’t a change but please get my name right like once though ya know.

  21. I think this is a very good cause being incorporated into marketing. With respect to heineken, drunk driving is a huge problem in America, and using marketing to change the stigmas associated with social drinking, and hopefully decrease the amount of drunk drivers on the roads.

  22. Purpose driven brands is a good way to market your brand because instead of focusing just on making profits the focus is on having a purpose like giving back. By having this type of purpose for the brand this will create a better image for the brand and will attract consumers. When consumers see that companies/brands do not only care about money this attracts the consumer because they feel like the companies’ products/services will be better since the brand actually cares about what they are offering.

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